Much has transpired since my last post, so it’s high time to simply write an update about where our family is with life. I’ll begin with the most noticeable changes first–
Let’s start with Adalynn, our newest member, who is surpassing us all when it comes to growth and developmental rate. Her first two months of life were a bit rough. Time after time, I thanked God that I stayed at home with her and didn’t have to go to work the next morning. All infants are demanding, though, and keeping that whole idea of the 4th trimester (thank you, Happiest Baby on the Block) in mind really helps. So, with those practices in mind, Adalynn lived in my arms or in the Moby wrap. And we survived. Then, 3 months came, and this amazingly happy little girl emerged (another thank you, in part, to my no-dairy diet).
Next up is Caleb, who still speaks of himself in the third person by calling himself “K-Bub,” due to his inability to say the “la” sound. As much as we’ve tried not to, Josh and I are now calling him K-Bub. It’s a little hard to buck the trend when you hear, “Mommy, K-bub wants…..” or “Mommy, K-bub is….” ALL day long. I admit, it’s cute and fitting for now. And, hey, if he ever needs some sort of band name, K-Bub might just catch on one day? Eh, maybe not….
Anyway, K-Bub–I mean Caleb–turned two in February. Shortly before his second birthday, we tried potty-training. It was a bust and intensely comical. I actually wrote a post about it, but I need to get around to editing it before publishing. So, hopefully that will be forthcoming.
Josh and I have learned a lot about the fragile, yet intensely adventuresome, spirit of a two-year-old boy. His brutal honesty and raw emotions are comical, and they have to be, or else I might be crying some days. One minute he is hugging my neck, telling me “K-bub wuvs Mommy!” and the next minute, he’s running away from my kisses, saying “No, mommy! K-bub not want kisses! K-bub go outside!” Now that the weather is nicer, he demands a daily walk; and as long as he revises his command to a polite request, I usually indulge him. He spends most of his time playing with his vehicles, his sandbox, his puzzles, or his Legos. And, he tolerates the following foods: Costco hot dogs, apple slices, ‘ola (granola) bars, chips, bananas, bread, and beans.
I’m also loving how much he can learn at such a young age. He seems to remember everything, so I’m trying to expose him to those simple, yet life-changing and profound, Gospel truths at his age.
How things are going for me often depend on how things are going for Josh. Many rotations are really taxing for our family, as we become ships in the night just trying to survive on autopilot. During these rotations, I honestly just want to fly home to my mother. That’s not feasible, so I prefer to eat out for lunch and/or go shopping (yes, I’m aware of my retail therapy problem!). And in lieu of my mother’s physical presence, we find ourselves Skyping her a lot. Seriously, I have the best mother. And these kids have the best nana.
In contrast to the hard months, there are definitely some lighter rotations that carry us through. For that, I am very grateful.
I’m also, for the first time since marriage, really connecting with my community. We’re going to be living somewhere longer than four years, so I’ve had the opportunity to get involved in a church and other groups and meet some wonderful people.
Finally, I thought I would struggle with the whole stay-at-home-mom role, but surprisingly, it has really grown on me. I mean, look at these kids (and dog). How could it not grow on me?
There are days when I really miss teaching. I miss the intellectual stimulation, the engaging students, the supportive colleagues, and the ability to eat lunch or go to the bathroom when I need to. But, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the fulfillment I’ve gotten from staying at home with my children. There’s no more frustration from trying to successfully juggle two worlds. I can be here for my husband who has crazy hours. I can be a cornerstone for my kids, who otherwise, would have both mom and dad flitting to and fro, never slowing down enough to notice the small, yet monumental, moments in their lives. I can fully take in this chapter of life. And because of that, I’ve realized that these moments with my ever-evolving family are priceless. I know that staying at home is not for every mom, but it’s definitely for us during this season.